With his rookie contract expiring after the game, Kruger is a pending unrestricted free agent who might be too expensive for the Ravens to retain.

With a career-high nine sacks during the regular season and an additional 4.5 sacks in the postseason, the 2009 second-round draft pick has built a niche as a situational pass rusher. Kruger could command a multiyear contract in the range of $35 million to $40 million.

"The Ravens know I want to come back," Kruger told The Baltimore Sun. "My focus is on the Super Bowl, and the chips will fall where they may.

"I don't know what else I can do. I just have to let it happen and let my agent do his job. I would love to be here, but it's not up to me."

Kruger said he won't allow himself to get stressed out by his unresolved status heading into the offseason.

"I've never been through the process before," Kruger said. "I don't know what to expect. I'm sure I will pull my hair out a little bit at first, but this is a good problem to have."

Kruger recently fired his previous representation and hired California-based agent David Dunn. Dunn has represented several other Ravens players, including former tight end Todd Heap.

"I think he's a really good agent; he's been great so far," Kruger said. "I'm very upbeat about everything. He's accustomed to dealing with the Ravens, so that's good."

Another pending Ravens free agent had a strong showing in the Super Bowl. Starting inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe had four solo tackles, including one for a loss, in the first half.

Ellerbe would prefer to remain in Baltimore, and that's a possibility with Ray Lewis' retirement.

"It's a business, but I would love to be here," Ellerbe said. "Baltimore is where I got my start, but it's not up to me. It's out of my control. The Ravens know how I feel. I hope we can work something out."

Fake field goal fails

The Ravens' decision to attempt a fake field goal in the first half backfired in a major way.

A direct snap from Morgan Cox to rookie kicker Justin Tucker failed to generate a first down as Tucker was tackled shy of the marker.

Instead of picking up three points on a chip-shot field goal, the Ravens saw their aggressiveness work against them.

Before the sequence, the Ravens had been sharp in the red zone.

In the playoffs, the Ravens had scored touchdowns on 10 consecutive red-zone scoring opportunities before the trick play.

Flacco on fire

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had a stellar first half, displaying a precise passing touch.

He threw three touchdown passes with no interceptions, giving him 11 scoring passes in the postseason to tie with Joe Montana and Kurt Warner for the most in the playoffs in one season.